My First Holy Communion.

Hmmm.  So.  Crying in my sleep.  Why am I doing that?  No idea.  I wonder if it might be because my bed is a sunken, lumpy torture chamber.  Or maybe it’s because my body buckled in a big twisted muscley mess yesterday and then I crunched it all up when I flopped my legs down flat too fast without thinking.  I’m not sure.  Maybe I was just having a sad dream. Regardless, the whole episode left me feeling a bit wrong this morning.  A wrong that lasted all day.  I’m hoping to shake off bad vibes with a pesto-laden, carb-heavy dinner and an evening of trashy tv.  I believe that show everyone’s talking about – My Big Fat Holy Communion is on tonight.  I do enjoy a dose of that.  If one thing can make me crack a smile on this, the very bluest of days, it’s a bunch of Catholic gypsies dressed in pink taffeta and wearing giant light-up tiaras as they receive everyone’s favourite sacrament.

I remember the day I made my First Holy Communion.  I remember it really very clearly.  Partly because I have a weird memory that seems to grip onto every tiny detail of my childhood (so much so, I reckon my family think I’m making things up cos I remember stuff they can’t) and partly because my dad videoed the whole thing on his cine camera (well, not the whole thing – in my day, church was no place for home-movie making). He shows me the footage every now and again just to prove there was a time I went to mass without cajoling.

I was SO excited to make my first communion.  Of course, as a wee girl in primary 3, I was more than just a bit giddy at the thought of wearing a sticky out dress but like the weird little geek I was (?), I was also a little bit curious about this sacrament lark and hoped that after all the big talk I’d heard from the teachers and priests at school, I would feel different in some way, that I would know how to be a good person and how to make the right decisions etc. etc.  I’m not convinced I did feel different. And I’m pretty sure my decision making hasn’t been gently guided by a higher power judging by some of the pickles I’ve found myself in.  As much as I loved the 100 prayer books and 130 sets of rosary beads I received from aunts, uncles and friends of the family to mark the occasion, (the books had beautiful shiny, pastel, pearlescent covers and the rosary beads came in cute white plastic boxes) I never really prayed with them as much as I liked to just hold them in my hands and look at how pretty they were.

Things I Remember About my First Holy Communion

1.  My outfit came from Reeta’s at The Barras.  I got to wear a long dress with a hoop underneath to make it stick out.

2.  I wore my hair in a bun with a little flowery ribbon headdress on the top and a wee veil at the back.

3.  My dark blue velvet cloak was my favourite bit of the ensemble and was borrowed from someone else.

4.  I remember being thrilled when I realised that after I’d made my First Holy Communion, I would be able to wear my white patent shoes with NORMAL dresses.

5.  I remember that my communion partner was called Clare  – the new girl at school that pretty much everyone but me had taken a pop at at some stage – partly because she spelled her name without an ‘i’ but mainly because she had a different accent to everyone else. As it happened, I rather liked that her ‘th’s came out as ds.

6.  I remember that I LOVED my Communion hymns (you will learn that despite my  lapsed Catholic status, I do still love a good hymn and I remember singing them at mass and at school – and occasionally drunk at parties, very fondly).  “I give my haaaaaands, to do you wooooork, and Jesus Lord I give them willing-leeeeee…”  That was one of my very favourites – and, sadly, not a hymn I’ve heard much of since.

7.  I read a bidding prayer from the pulpit.  So did my dad.

8.  My teacher at the time was Miss Renucci and the priests that said mass were Father Moan, Father Bacon and Father Sheery. They were all bonkers in their own ways.

9.  The class bully and bane of my life – wore a short tutu type dress.  Like the little hairy she was. (Now that wasn’t very Christian of me…)

10.  My parents made me get my picture taken with Wesley. (I had a giant crush on Wesley at the time – and the look on my face/the colour of my cheeks in the photo say as much).

Now I’ve started this list, I realise I remember MUCH more about this day than I first thought.  Told you.  There’s something weird about my long term memory. As my mum always says, “You don’t let go of things easily…”  I could go on ’til point 30. but I’m guessing this is already a little bit weird and you don’t need to know that my Uncle Ian was there with my Aunty Margaret and that we ate cake in the school hall before going back to my house and eating salmon sandwiches in the living room off the fancy plates.

What you DO need to know is that I didn’t get a spray tan.  I didn’t arrive at church in a limo with the Vengaboys booming out the windows, no one got (that) pissed afterwards and there was definitely no gazebo Communion disco full of grinding underage guests in a carpark.

Well – this post took some interesting turns didn’t it?  I feel a bit better now.


One thought on “My First Holy Communion.”

  1. all sounds like mine, even if you remember way more than I do! I do remember my dress was a family heirloom used by a second cousin before me. Liked the dress fine but didn’t love the veil, I have to say. Mine was so full of starch it practically stuck out at 90 degrees, whereas other girls had one that swished like their hair (and my hair, hidden under that sodding veil!). But mostly I remember being insanely jealous that when it came to my sister’s turn 5 yrs later, sheeeee got a new dress made of lovely broiderie anglaise and sheeeeee then got to wear that to my auntie’s wedding later that summer while IIIIII wore a minging royal blue satin bridesmaid’s dress! But I’m not bitter… Them were the days eh?!


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